Craig Kuligowski (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Craig Kuligowski (photo/Mizzou Athletics) is reporting that Mizzou defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski has been offered the co-coordinator and defensive line coaching position at Illinois. Coach “Kool” has been with Gary Pinkel for 23 years, including 19 as defensive line coach.

According to the website’s sources, Kuligowski is expected to accept the offer.

Kuligowski has coached the last two SEC Defensive Players of the Year in Shane Ray (a projected first-rounder) and Michael Sam in 2013.  Kuligowski has coached nine Tigers to 1st-Team All-Conference honors, including eight overall in the last eight seasons – Lorenzo Williams in 2007, followed by Ziggy Hood in 2008, Aldon Smith in 2010, Dominique Hamilton in 2011, Sheldon Richardson in 2012, and two more in 2013 – Michael Sam and Kony Ealy and Ray in 2014.

How valuable is Kuligowski to the Mizzou program? According to, there are eight former Mizzou defensive lineman playing in the NFL. Kuligowski has coached seven of them.

The two schools could be reversing roles.  Just prior to the 2014 season, Missouri hired away A.J. Ricker from Illinois to become the new offensive line coach.